All in all, trouble is near, and you — we — urgently need to pay attention.
Now. Not later. Now.
The speed of technological change is apparent. But the rate of acceleration? We are poorly equipped to observe, imagine, experience acceleration. Our human perception does not grasp exponential anything well, let alone change. Add to that…humans — let’s be honest — don’t especially like change.
Finger in the wind test: compare the pace of change today to that of ten years ago, when the iPhone was first introduced. Try to imagine that change compressed into five years…then two years…then…
Yet the stakes for coming to grips with what is coming could not be higher: human dignity and, arguably, human existence. In our humble day-to-day lives, we rarely, if ever, have such high-stakes concerns and responsibilities.
It may already be too late for you and me to have any meaningful input or effect on the world as it is soon to become. Bending the arc of history is never easy. Trouble is near, not because of the technology itself, though there are truly reasons for worry. It is near because we are socially, politically, and economically unprepared to cope with the consequences of The Exponential Change – TEC. The longed-for/feared singularity may be ten, twenty or a hundred years in the future, but large-scale if not massive social disruption is just over the horizon.
You and I must step up and attempt to shape the not-distant future to ensure that it is hospitable to our lives and our values.
I’ve written a novel, a murder mystery, set in that not distant future. While entertaining with a familiar crime-solving storyline, my aim is to provoke thought and understanding of what we may be facing. It is not a forecast. I don’t pretend to be clairvoyant. I have simply been doing some homework.
Trouble is near, and I encourage you to follow along in this discussion, to encourage your family and friends to join in, and in the end, stand up and be heard.